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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Writing Life

Writing is a lonely profession. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

Writers can sit for hours on end, staring at their computers, talking to imaginary friends, creating fictional worlds, and giving voice to their own special characters. They lock themselves away from “real life” distractions in order to master their wordcraft. For most, they welcome this lonely life and they prepare for many nights of being alone with their own thoughts.

Writing is hard work. I know quite a few people that don’t understand what goes into writing. To them, it’s not considered real work, just a fun hobby to pass the time away. But writers everywhere know and understand how much work can actually go into a piece.

One paragraph can take several hours to write. Then when you finally have something down, it most likely will be scrapped and you’ll have to start all over again. Even when you complete the piece, you will have to contend with rewrites and edits. It’s a never-ending process.

Research and/or knowledge are also required for any type of writing. There are certain rules to follow and mastering them can be hard work. Even when creating a completely fictional world, laws of nature specific to your world should still apply. Your characters need some kind of law and order as well or you’ll end up in a pit of paper scraps and misguided notions.

So why do we write?

Because we enjoy it. Where else can we create fictional worlds or control people and their surroundings? It’s similar to the God Complex. Every thought, every action, every place is controlled by the writer. In real life, we would never have even half as much control over things.

For me, I love to share my worlds with other people. There’s nothing better than an elated feeling when someone reads something I’ve written and gives it a thumbs up or asks that wondrous question, “Where on earth did you ever come up with something this good?”

Writing is a chance for me to steal away from reality and spend some time with my fictional friends. It’s a lonely world, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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